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Business News/ News / World/  Russia steps up offensive, launches new large-scale missile attacks on Ukraine
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Russia steps up offensive, launches new large-scale missile attacks on Ukraine

In fresh updates coming in from Russia, the country has launched new missile attacks on Ukraine.

A woman walks past a destroyed armoured personal carrier in the liberated village of Petropavlivka near Kupiansk, Kharkiv region on December 15, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK / AFP) (AFP)Premium
A woman walks past a destroyed armoured personal carrier in the liberated village of Petropavlivka near Kupiansk, Kharkiv region on December 15, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK / AFP) (AFP)

Air raid sirens went off across all Ukrainian regions early Friday as Kremlin forces launched the latest large-scale missile attack. Among the targets were “crucial infrastructure" in the Kharkiv region in the northeast. Widespread power outages were reported there and in Poltava. Explosions were also heard in at least three districts of Kyiv. A residential building was hit in Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine, the home town of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, with casualties likely, officials said.

The strikes come a day after a top Ukrainian army commander warned there’s “no doubt" Russian forces will attempt to seize Kyiv as soon as January after failing in the spring, potentially from a staging ground in Belarus. Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Minsk on Monday for talks with his Belarusian counterpart.

The US on Thursday sanctioned Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s richest tycoon but left his company, mining giant MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, untouched as it tries to maintain stability in the metals market. The Pentagon confirmed plans to expand its training in Germany for Ukrainian forces.

Key Developments

EU Nations Back Russia Sanctions on Drone Imports, Banks

War in Ukraine Hinges on Who Gets More Rockets and Shells First

A Million Shells and More: Pentagon Revs Up Ukraine Weapons Aid

US Sanctions Russia’s Richest Tycoon, Nornickel Boss Potanin

Belarus Announces Putin to Make First Visit in Years to War Ally

On the Ground

Friday’s missile barrage appears to be the ninth by Russia since early October focused on Ukraine’s infrastructure. Russian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and Avdiyivka in the east, Ukraine’s General Staff said in its latest update. Russian troops shelled the Nikopol district in the central Dnipropetrovsk region overnight and parts of the Mykolaiv region in the morning, local authorities said. The city of Kherson was hit by artillery fire, with Russian shells hitting residential areas and killing a woman and a child and injuring two people, according to the local military administration.

Putin to Visit Belarus For Talks With Lukashenko (8:23 a.m. CET)

Vladimir Putin will travel to Belarus on Monday in his first visit in more than three years to his ally in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

President Alexander Lukashenko will host Putin in Minsk for talks on security issues and “joint measures to respond to emerging challenges," according to a statement on the Belarusian leader’s website Friday.

The visit comes as Russia recently moved thousands of additional troops into Belarus, and Ukrainian officials have warned of a possible new attack on Kyiv from the north.

Russia Launches Another Large Missile Attack (8 a.m. CET)

All Ukraine’s regions faced air-raid alarms early Friday as Russia launched another large-scale missile attack, local officials said. Dozens of missiles may have been launched, Vitaliy Kim, governor of Ukraine’s southern Mykolaiv region, said on Telegram. There were reports about air-defense working in several regions.

Three strikes were made on “crucial infrastructure" in the Kharkiv region, governor Oleh Synyehubov said on Telegram, and widespread power outages ensued. Hits were also reported in the Kryvyi Rih region in central Ukraine, including a residential building, as well as explosions in Kyiv.

Russia has pounded Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and other civilian facilities for more than two months. leading to widespread blackouts and water outages for millions of people. The Kremlin air campaign has consisted of eight large-scale strikes so far, and Friday’s barrage appears to be a ninth.

EU States Back Russia Sanctions on Drone Imports, Banks (10:45 p.m. CET)

European Union member states reached a deal on a ninth package of sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, targeting Moscow’s access to drones, additional banks as well as officials responsible for allegedly abducting children from Ukraine.

The measures were agreed by the bloc’s ambassadors Thursday evening and affect more than 100 individuals and dozens of entities, according to people familiar with the matter. The EU also agreed to ban direct exports of drone engines to Russia or third countries, such as Iran, which could then supply drones to Russia.

US to Expand Training in Germany for Ukraine Forces (9:28 p.m. CET)

The Pentagon’s spokesman confirmed that the US will significantly expand its training in Germany for Ukrainian forces.

About 500 Ukrainian troops would be trained a month, “basically at battalion level," Brigadier General Pat Ryder told reporters.

The expanded instruction will include “joint maneuver" and “combined arms operations training," he said. The US already has trained 3,100 Ukrainian troops, according to the Associated Press.

US Sanctions Potanin, Russia’s Richest Tycoon (4:31 p.m. CET)

The U.S. sanctioned Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s richest tycoon and the president and biggest shareholder of mining giant MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, but left his company untouched as it tries to maintain stability in the metals market.

The action was part of a broader sanctions package the Treasury Department rolled out, targeting some 40 people linked to Russia’s government.

Ukrainian Army Chief Says Russia May Attempt to Take Kyiv Again (4:26 p.m. CET)

There is “no doubt" Russia will make another attempt to capture Ukraine’s capital after being repelled soon after its Feb. 24 invasion, Ukraine’s army commander-in-chief told The Economist.

Valeriy Zaluzhnyi told the magazine that the Kremlin is accumulating resources for another attack, which may start from the Donbas in the east, Belarus to the north, or from the south.

Ukraine needs help from its partners in the form of 300 tanks, 600 to 700 infantry fighting vehicles and 500 Howitzers to be able to restore the borders as they were before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, he said.

 

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Published: 16 Dec 2022, 01:31 PM IST
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